Warriors, Losers of Five Straight
Golden State returning to their old, losing ways
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 11:02
The Golden State Warriors lost to the Houston Rockets 116-107 on Tuesday night, the fifth straight loss for the team that was inching toward the top half of the Western Conference playoff bracket a week ago.
The Rockets’ James Harden had 27 points and seven rebounds on a nagging left knee and teammate Chandler Parsons added 21 points and nine assists.
“When you have a team with seven guys who haven’t played in an 82-game season before, you’re going to have some fatigue,” said Santa Clara senior Nick Camilleri, who is a game day intern for the Warriors. “We just look tired and sloppy.”
Houston’s Jeremy Lin finished with 14 points and 10 assists for the second time in eight days.
A week after Houston tied the NBA record with 23 made 3-pointers in a testy 140-109 rout of the Warriors, the Bay Area rematch took a little longer to decide.
Stephen Curry had 27 points and six assists and Jarrett Jack scored 22 points for the Warriors, who head into the All-Star break on a season-long, five-game losing streak. The first four losses for Golden State had come on the road.
The Rockets seemed more riled up for the Warriors’ return to Oracle Arena than the home team.
Houston made 23 of 40 shots from beyond the arc against Golden State last week. Some Warriors players were upset about what they perceived as excessive celebration from the Rockets, and Warriors coach Mark Jackson ordered his players to foul in the final minutes just so the Rockets wouldn’t surpass the record.
“They’re playing like they’ve played my whole life,” said Santa Clara junior and Bay Area native Brian Soares. “Back to the ways of no defense and very few wins. They need to return their focus to the defensive end.”
The game also marked the first appearance in the Bay Area for Lin since “Linsanity” swept through the NBA a year ago. Lin is from nearby Palo Alto. The Warriors waived Lin before last season after he played sparingly as a rookie, Houston signed him for a couple of weeks before cutting him, and then the Knicks decided to give him a look.
“We have a great point guard in Stephen (Curry), but it’s tough to know we gave Lin up for nothing,” said Soares. “We could have got a nice piece for him.”
Lin became a sensation in New York. His burst of brilliance on Broadway earned him a three-year, $25 million deal with Houston that the Knicks declined to match.
Lin’s backcourt teammate was the one who gave Golden State fits.
Harden, wearing a protective sleeve around his knee, landed hard after missing a fast-break layup over 7-footer Andrew Bogut in the first quarter while the Warriors built a nine-point lead. Harden held his knee and limped to the bench during a timeout but stayed in the game.
The Harden-Lin duo dodged defenders and drew fouls with relative ease. The pair combined to go 15 for 15 on free throws and score 26 points in the first half to pace the Rockets to a 57-56 lead.
Golden State had allowed at least 60 points in the first half of each of the past four games.
Harden had another scary fall going for a fast-break layup in the third quarter. His right plant foot stepped on David Lee’s left shoe, twisting awkwardly as he tumbled to the ground.
Harden limped trying to shake off the pain before he made both free throws. He walked gingerly to the locker room and returned a few minutes later, highlighting a 13-5 spurt with a driving dunk that helped Houston take an 88-77 lead.
After the Warriors whittled the deficit to six early in the fourth quarter, the Rockets quickly broke the game wide open.
Although the Warriors have lost five straight, they are still in position to make the playoffs if they can turn things around quickly. The break has come at a perfect time for the team, who still have five more days to try to get things back on track.
With the All-Star break also inherently comes trade rumors.
“I think they’ll be actively listening and if the right opportunity arises, they may make a move,” said Camilleri. “But I don’t think there’s a reason to force a trade.”
Luckily for the Warriors, 18 of their remaining 30 games are at home, and their schedule will be easier compared to the one they have played so far in the new year. They are currently in sixth place in the Western Conference, with a five-game cushion on the last playoff spot.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Chris Glennon at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.